A Fantastic Web: Our Last Day in NOLA

New Orleans, Louisiana
04.29.2011 | by: Meghan

Someone told us the other day that “New Orleans is like a spider web; Everything is connected.” He was talking about the streets, but the same could be said of the people here. Anthony from the fantastic Fair Folks and a Goat put us in touch with Michael Cohen, an architectural theorist and local woodworker, who moved here from New York on a grant and has been working on a range of interesting one-off projects for the past year. He’s the guy behind the slat-wood bar at Fair Folks and a Roast (all the wood was salvaged from homes that were destroyed during Katrina), and he’s also involved in the Hollygrove Greenline Project, which takes a look at the infrastructure of a Katrina-flooded neighborhood. Yesterday afternoon we toured his beautiful wood shop, which is tucked into an old white barn-like garage in the Irish Channel, and after showing us a big hunk of Magnolia wood he’s turning into a table, he asked if we had been to the Eiffel Society (he designed a piece of furniture for that space, too).

I don’t usually get overly excited about the slick interiors of fancy nightclubs or restaurants, but Michael assured us this hybrid underground supper club and special performance space was worth checking out (and since he’s a humble woodworker with a penchant for public service, we kinda trusted him). And even though I wanted to spend my last afternoon in New Orleans lounging by the courtyard pool at the beautiful house we’re staying in, I felt compelled to check it out. Turns out, Michael wasn’t exaggerating. The place is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The glass and iron dome, which looks like some kind of kooky spacecraft from the outside, is actually the former restaurant top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris! Apparently, the geometric iron dome was causing the tower damage and had to be removed in the early ’80s. They wouldn’t let the owner keep the name, so he refused to reopen the restaurant in Paris. An investor from New York convinced him to have it shipped to the United States on a boat like a set of iron Legos, and it sat there for a few years until finding a new home in New Orleans in 1986 for the World Fair.

And if the history isn’t fascinating enough, consider the latest incarnation: the newest interior design is a collaborative art installation curated by the local art collective Life is Art Foundation, who used the space as an artist residency while they worked on it. (Headed by Kirsha Kaechele, the Life is Art Foundation has gotten a lot of slack lately for their abandoned public art project in the St. Roch neighborhood, but that’s another story.) This space, which opened six months ago, is a total spectacle, from the Wooly Pocket-covered entrance to the site-specific furniture and lighting installations to the pretty significant artwork. Edward Burtynsky, who has made a name for himself photographing man-made disasters, was recently in town shooting the oil spill and donated a gigantic photograph of the inky black ocean swirls with one condition: It can’t be sold. They built a wall for it the next day. Designer Thomas Beeale, who was dating a girl from New Orleans, came to town to work on a gigantic, curvaceous floor pillow made from sculpted wood scraps. And Louise Kiley created an intricate dreamcatcher-esque chandelier made of bicycle frames and colored thread. Like so much happening in New Orleans right now, the work relates to transformation–taking the unexpected and making it beautiful and useful again.

New Orleans Giveaway!
For anyone inspired by our design pursuits in New Orleans, enter the Lincoln-Designtripper giveaway. Our awesome road trip sponsor Lincoln is sending the lucky winner to New Orleans for a weekend–airfare provided, with a Lincoln MKX to tool around in while you’re here, and a two-night stay at Fair Folks and a Goat (unless you want to stay somewhere else of equivalent value, but I have no idea why you’d want to do that. I mean, HELLO, you get to sleep in an art installation). Check out some of the places we visited, but even more importantly, get out there and create your own web.

[Disclaimer: Ford Motor Company is the paying sponsor of designtripper’s road trip to New Orleans, which also included a Lincoln MKX for the duration of the trip.]

Share/Bookmark

26 Comments on “A Fantastic Web: Our Last Day in NOLA”

  1. I have enjoyed your road trip immensely!!!!!!!!I’m sure you enjoyed it more, especially touring around in that great car!!

    thank you…..

     

  2. Amazing work, Meghan. The last entry sent chills up my spine. Multiple times! I shared on my Facebook page and will be bragging on you all about town. Congratulations. And thanks for sharing all the wonderful finds.

     

  3. Jackie and Lee: Thank you so much for following our trip. It was so inspiring to see what people are up to down there–glad I’m able to pass a little bit of that along.

     

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your trip, it definitely has inspired some spots in NOLA that I was planning to visit this fall. So glad your trip made it through Cincy too, where I reside, it had some hidden gems for sure!

     

  5. I like this blog very much, Its a real nice billet to read and incur info . “I look upon every day to be lost, in which I do not make a new acquaintance.” by Samuel Johnson.

     

  6. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just too wonderful. I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it smart. I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is actually a wonderful website.

     

  7. Some truly choice content on this web site , bookmarked .

     

  8. It is in point of fact a nice and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

     

  9. I have recently started a website, the information you offer on this site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work. “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” by Jean Paul.

     

  10. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

     

  11. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

     

  12. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, as well as the content!

     

  13. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! “Never let inexperience get in the way of ambition.” by Terry Josephson.

     

  14. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

     

  15. I’ve read some excellent stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much effort you put to create this kind of excellent informative site.

     

  16. Thanks, I’ve just been looking for info approximately this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve found out so far. However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you positive concerning the supply?

     

  17. Good – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, website theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task.

     

  18. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

     

  19. Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web site is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What an ideal website.

     

  20. You are my inhalation , I own few blogs and occasionally run out from to post .I conceive this website has got some rattling excellent information for everyone. “A man’s dreams are an index to his greatness.” by Zadok Rabinwitz.

     

  21. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite certain I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

     

  22. Very interesting topic, appreciate it for putting up.

     

  23. Very interesting info!Perfect just what I was looking for!

     

  24. I wish to show appreciation to this writer just for bailing me out of this situation. Right after exploring throughout the the net and obtaining views which were not productive, I thought my life was done. Being alive minus the solutions to the difficulties you have sorted out by means of your main article content is a critical case, and the kind that could have in a negative way affected my career if I hadn’t noticed your website. Your good know-how and kindness in dealing with the whole thing was excellent. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come upon such a solution like this. I am able to at this point look forward to my future. Thanks a lot very much for the high quality and results-oriented help. I will not hesitate to refer your web blog to any person who desires assistance on this issue.

     

  25. You have mentioned very interesting details ! ps decent site. “Do not quench your inspiration and your inmagination do not become the slave of your model.” by Vincent Van Gogh.

     

  26. I think you have observed some very interesting points , appreciate it for the post.

     

Leave a Comment